I don’t often order Nitro Cold Brews from Starbucks, and regulars are probably now used to this sippy cup lid that was introduced back in 2017, but it tripped me the hell out.
Instead of the standard lid that we’ve grown accustomed to seeing from Starbucks cold drinks, the Nitro Cold Brews come with a lid that has a hole on the top edge, similar to a wide-mouth can of Mountain Dew.
I asked the barista what was up with the sippy cup, and she explained to me that it is primarily for customers to enjoy the foam that tops their Nitro drinks, such as the new Cold Foam Cascara Nitro I had ordered that day.
Then she hit me with a curveball, saying I can actually ask for the sippy cup on any of my cold drinks, and to not be surprised to see it be the new norm, as restaurant industries are always looking for ways to phase out plastic straws.
The usage of plastic drinking straws seem to be a big deal at the moment, and I learned this firsthand after posting an Instagram photo of a split cup boba adorned with not one, but two straws in it. Six of my friends promptly scolded me for the unnecessary straw usage, and reminded me that I was destroying the earth.
Probably the biggest sign that restaurants are leaning toward phasing out plastic straws, is the fact that ALL McDonald’s in the UK will be replacing its plastic straws with paper ones.
Yup, the Golden Arches made a huge statement, affecting over 1,300 stores in the European nation. That means the new norm for anyone living in England, Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland, will be paper straws.
Hell, just this morning, Alaska Airlines announced it will be eliminating its plastic stirring sticks and drinking straws, replacing them with compostable versions.
It’s obviously not something we think of when we’re sipping on our cup of Coke, but in the U.S., we use about 500 million straws a day.
The next thing that comes to mind after hearing that stat, is the middle school recycling slide show, with the poor seagull getting its head stuck in an old school six-pack holder, or the turtle with the straw stuck in its bloodied nostril.
These sippy cup lids will be an interesting case study for Starbucks, though, as they add the value of a specific mouth-feel, similar to the one you get when sipping on your hot drink, beyond the positive environmental impact they’re trying to make.
Hell, I now ask for the sippy cup on my non-Nitro, Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew. It makes me feel fancy AF, and now I don’t have to worry about friends yelling at me about straws.
Whether we like it or not, it looks like a change is coming. We might as well get used to losing our plastic straws, just like we had to get used to losing our plastic grocery bags. If it means one less cute ass sea otter chokes on my waste, it’s worth it.